SFO: Jonathan Sanchez (4-9) 4.81 ERA. HOU: Felipe Paulino (2-5) 7.04 ERA.
Last night's game really killed me. It was the kind of game I feared going in: Cain didn't have his best stuff, the offense wasted opportunity after opportunity with ducks on the pond (key stat: 2-for-10 last night with RISP) and the Astros did just enough (e.g. lucky home runs) to win the game. Add that with Hampton looking like his old days in Houston pre-2000, and it was really hard to sleep last night after the Giants dropped the game 4-3.
That being said, that game is over, I'm flushing it out of my system and moving on. The good news? Roy Oswalt is hurt, so he won't pitch tonight and we'll get Felipe Paulino on the hill, a pitcher who the Giants rocked when he pitched against the G-Men at AT&T Park back in June.
The bad news? Jonathan Sanchez is on the hill.
I'm not trying to be pessimistic here, but Sanchez hasn't exactly been sparkling on the road this year, or in his career for that matter (don't believe me? Check out the game preview from the blog West Coast Bias). Furthermore, he's playing in a hitter's park, and judging by his last performance at a hitter's park, that doesn't bode good things. Granted, Sanchez may have some help. The last time the Giants faced Paulino Sadowski was on the hill and he looked increidble mainly because he was pitching with a seven-plus run lead after the third, so it is certainly plausible to think that even if Sanchez's road woes continue on the hill, the Giants offense can certainly pick him up. Let's hope they can continue their offensive output, only this time...let's hope they get hits with runners on base rather than with the bases empty.
I'm going to be pessimistic and think that after last night's loss, the Giants are going to drop two out of three in this series, as much as that pains me to say that. However, I think tonight's game is very key in determining whether or not things get much worse after that. If the Giants and Sanchez get killed, this could be a sweep. That is how bad things are looking after that Cain loss last night (or maybe that's just the evil, pessmistic-side of me seeping through).
For game updates check out the SJ Mercury's Andrew Baggarly's Giants blog at Extra Baggs. For live game thread and chat, check out the McCovey Chronicles.